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New Duel sport time

  1. #1
    Lifer
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    New Duel sport time


    With borders starting to open up around the world i want to get cracking on another round the world bike build. I left my last one in Europe due to covid. With so many new models out and in limited supply i cant really decide what to buy. Without the ability to test ride anything i need to look at reviews and advise and go from there. If anyone has any first hand knowledge of any of the bikes im interested in please chime in.

    So i have narrowed it down to a half dozen or so bikes at this point. I have ridden none of them or at least none in the last decade or so.

    Honda CRF300l or rally.
    KLX300 (almost bought this yesterday but it seems the people at Flamingo have no interest in sales anymore, only to chat about fishing. Probably best i didn't anyway, Its coolant tank is a stupid design and almost certainly going to cause me issues.)
    GPX fse250. (seems silly but having a chinese clone can be a huge advantage out in asia.)
    DR650
    DRZ400
    XR650l
    KLr650
    WR250R

    Having done legs of a round the world trip before i know a smaller bike rules and simple is better. I also know to stay way away from anything Euro too. You cant even legally own big CC bikes in alot of countries so spares are near impossible to get.
    I really like the CRF but it has a lot of know weaknesses mainly the suspension which can be fixed and the frame which can only be improved but not solved.

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    Last edited by boosten lebaron; 11-11-21 at 01:48 PM.

  2. #2
    Lifer
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    I have a Crf250l with a few mods that also increase power. Itís a great bike and I think would be perfect for Asia. I installed an Acerbis tank to increase range by 50%. Suspension is fine for most roads but weak for serious off road. I am not ware of any frame issues. My vote is for the crf. With stage 1 mods, I saw an indicated 89 mph on the highway. Real speed probably about 82mph. It will cruise comfortable at 70 mph all day. Lots of parts available. Lot so mods if you feel like it. Great vike

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    Ducati Scrambler Icon, Monster 1100evo, VFR/Interceptor, CRF250L/M, CRF230L

  3. #3
    Awesomeness, Inc. MattR302's Avatar
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    Depends what type of riding, the speeds, and the terrains.
    Iíve got a DR650, I used it to ride the MABDR back in May loaded with full camping gear, and did a track day a couple weeks ago in supermoto form. That MABDR trip was 75% highway slab back from VA/TN and was surprisingly comfortable.
    Theyíve been unchanged since 1996 so tons of parts available and and nearly unlimited aftermarket.
    Plenty of good condition used ones with desirable upgrades for sale.
    I believe due to emissions, they havenít been available in Europe for a few years though - not sure how that affects parts availability over there
    If youíre near central CT youíre free to take it for a spin.

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    Last edited by MattR302; 11-11-21 at 10:19 AM.

  4. #4
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    No experience riding around the world or in most of the countries/regions you are headed.

    But I'm interested in hearing more about the CRF frame issues. First I've heard of this.

    I've owned a DRZ400 and ridden a CRF250L back to back. My read was the 400 made more power and somehow weighed less! Felt more agile and more "zippy".
    But the CRF was fuel injected and just bullet proof. Not that the DRZ is/was a problem child by any means.
    I've heard great things about the CRF300; that it is a worthwhile improvement over the 250L.

    I am not sure I would throw a CRF300 Rally out of my garage..

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  5. #5

    Re: New Duel sport time

    The duel between the dual sports!

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  6. #6
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    I have a CRF250L Rally, and I personally think the CRF300L Rally makes one hell of a good argument for the perfect RTW bike. Fuel efficient, long service intervals, enough power and really easy and fun to ride. It's got a wide ratio tranny and enough suspension travel to make it good in the rough stuff (the 300 rear shock was actually improved from the 250), but also excels at on road riding, and the Rally package adds a bunch of real niceties for touring. The 300 will do 80+ mph as well and has enough wind management to make it comfortable at those speeds. The biggest complain I have is that the 250 is somewhat heavy, but the 300 variant lost somewhere around 10lbs compared with the 250. It's still light enough that picking it up is not really all that difficult.

    If I could only have one bike to do everything in the small dual sport segment, it would easily be the 300 Rally. The only other bike I'd consider is the WR250R, which you should really add to your list.

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    Last edited by SRTie4k; 11-11-21 at 11:18 AM.
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  7. #7
    rides bikes
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    I assume you're looking at the XR650L and not the R? If so, it's been around forever and largely unchanged, so parts should be easy. Pretty bulletproof platforms that are super well-supported in the aftermarket, forums, etc. Not the most exciting thing to ride, but it's cooler than a KLR!

    If you're looking at the R, I have had a few of these and always liked them. Only major issue I had was one that had chewed up second gear, which isn't uncommon. Once you get them tuned and figure out your starting sequence, kick starting them isn't a huge deal. Also well-supported in the aftermarket (though may be dwindling since they're getting older). KLX650s are very similar, but are also coming up on 30 years old, unless they're actually re-releasing which has been teased for years. Not sure you want to be too far from civilization on something old enough to drink, but new enough to have electrical complexity.

    DRZ400s are great bikes too, provided expectations are set correctly. Another largely unchanged platform that does well pretty much everywhere except the extreme ends of the spectrums.

    Assume you mean DR650? Basically the same story as an XR650L.

    Never owned a KLX300, but never heard a bad word about them. If you're really covering miles you might want more displacement (I would), but if you're getting technical overseas it could be perfect. I rode a KLX140 in Indo for a while and I was glad I didn't have something bigger.

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  8. #8
    Lifer OneCheekRider's Avatar
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    I'm biased, but WR250R should be a consideration IMO. Same bike since '08, decent performance, extremely reliable, and lots of aftermarket add-ons available to outfit to your liking. Yamaha just killed it but there may be a new leftover somewhere, otherwise plenty of good used options for not much money.

    I just did a trackday on mine this past weekend, this morning I swapped wheels, and I'm headed to the desert for two days of off-road riding this weekend. The yearly Baja dual sport trip is in the spring where I strap a Giant Loop saddle bag on the back for a week-long adventure.

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    Last edited by OneCheekRider; 11-11-21 at 01:42 PM.

  9. #9
    Lifer
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    Thanks for the suggestions guy. Couple things to clarify-

    I mean dr650 and xr650l. I dont think they make the xr650r anymore.

    The CRF250l has a weak back section that has been known to snap when loaded. Its not really an issue for normal riding but the ones that spend time loaded to the gills develop cracks or break entirely. The 300 was supposed to be upgraded to lessen it but time will tell.

    KLX650 has been updated this year but to be honest its not really to my liking. Too big and heavy i think. I was really only considering it because the KLX300 is a bit of a let down with coolant tank being mounted where it is.

    Bigger displacement isnt really a concern of mine. I did most of my riding overseas on a 125. Other than french motorways with an 82mph speed limit i really didnt need much more that the 125. I did swap in a 150 kit at some point which made it just near perfect for what i needed it to do. Good chunks of Asia dont need any speed or power really. I had the 150 in vietnam and cambodia and i was really worried about the insane drivers there but it turned out a 150 is bigger than anything they can buy and is faster than most cars and trucks to i actually was fine with it. I could overtake and pass 99% of the people there. Top speed on the highway was barely 50 most of the time. In Morroco you were lucky to see 40mph.

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  10. #10
    Lifer zxme's Avatar
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    New Duel sport time-161c9e0e-3929-4220-b06f-4fa460c1778c <—- mine now…had a KLX 250, CRF250L and now a 2018 DRZ400SM
    The KLX was a complete dog and suspension sucked.
    The CRF250L was built nice and fuel injection was a plus but again a complete dog also, the only thing I liked about it was fuel injection.
    The drz is carbed ( might be a good thing if you are ever stuck ) but the bike is bullet proof. Some report 40-60,000 miles without tearing apart the engine . I went through a few bikes before I bought mine and I absolutely love it it’s not a highway bike even though I got 103 on GPS.
    If you’re interested you’re more than welcome to take it out for a spin I am in the Lawrence Andover area

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    Last edited by zxme; 11-11-21 at 03:50 PM.

  11. #11
    Lifer
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    Quote Originally Posted by zxme View Post
    New Duel sport time-161c9e0e-3929-4220-b06f-4fa460c1778c <—- mine now…had a KLX 250, CRF250L and now a 2018 DRZ400SM
    The KLX was a complete dog and suspension sucked.
    The CRF250L was built nice and fuel injection was a plus but again a complete dog also, the only thing I liked about it was fuel injection.
    The drz is carbed ( might be a good thing if you are ever stuck ) but the bike is bullet proof. Some report 40-60,000 miles without tearing apart the engine . I went through a few bikes before I bought mine and I absolutely love it it’s not a highway bike even though I got 103 on GPS.
    If you’re interested you’re more than welcome to take it out for a spin I am in the Lawrence Andover area
    Do you think if your CFR was a 300 it would stack up a bit better against the DRZ400? I really like the idea of FI but im not opposed to a carb.

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  12. #12
    Lifer zxme's Avatar
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    Quote Originally Posted by boosten lebaron View Post
    Do you think if your CFR was a 300 it would stack up a bit better against the DRZ400? I really like the idea of FI but im not opposed to a carb.
    Maybe but still only at 76mph (GPS) If a short highway commute then definitely give the Honda a try but hitting the throttle on the 300 vs the 400 is definitely not the same.
    Try the 300 , getting rid of it will be very easy to do if you no likey
    A very reliable one is also the Yamaha XT225, Watched a lady on YouTube that put 30,000 miles on hers and it’s air cooled ( reliable)

    https://youtu.be/eF_EH2LZk7I

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    Last edited by zxme; 11-11-21 at 06:13 PM.

  13. #13
    rides bikes
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    Are you shipping a bike over and shipping it back? Any consideration to buying something in the vicinity of where you'll be?

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  14. #14
    Lifer
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    I am planning on shipping a bike over and back maybe, just not any time soon. I'm thinking Late next year at the earliest for an overseas trip.
    I could buy one overseas but it's a real pain to get them registered and legal depending on where you are. That's what I did with my last one and while it's not impossible to do I don't think its the best way.

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  15. #15
    is not wearing pants Point37's Avatar
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    the advantage of a fuel injected bike is no adjustments needed if you are riding at varying elevations not that a carb'd bike is terribly hard to adjust and there are less electronics

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  16. #16
    rides bikes
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    Re: New Duel sport time

    I'd love to pick your brain on this one of these days. I travel a bunch (pre-covid at least) and ride motorcycles a bunch, and try to combine the two whenever I can. Sounds like my trips are shorter but more frequent than yours (generally two weeks overseas 4-6 times/year), so I'm usually renting or borrowing bikes for a day or two at a time. I'd love to spend a few months exploring though.

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